Morocco Offers to Boost Liberia¹s Tourism, Housing Sectors Gives Out Over 35 Scholarships to Liberians
Liberian Daily Observer
Morocco Offers to Boost Liberia’s Tourism, Housing Sectors Gives Out Over 35 Scholarships to Liberians
Written by Stephen Binda
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:37
Foreign Minister Ngafuan
A series of bilateral discussions aimed at strengthening and expanding existing relations and fostering new partnerships between Liberia, Japan and Morocco has been held.
The discussions took place on the margin of the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Ministerial Follow-up Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco over the weekend.
During the discussions, Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, recalled that foreign aid grants provided by the Government of Japan have not only helped Liberia undertake vital projects, but were also essential to development and human security, a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
Minister Ngafuan underscored the need for Japanese investments in the private sector, naming the infrastructure and technology development, stressing that such intervention will also contribute to job creation and poverty reduction in Liberia.
Records show that the government of Japan has over the years provided rice and fuel to Liberia and funded projects that foster economic development, prominent among which was the paddy rice project implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Such assistance that provides needed resources to carry out projects which impact the lives of the Liberian people should be enhanced,” Ngafuan said.
He commended the government of Japan for living up to all of its commitments made to Africa’s development despite the massive tragedy the country encountered.
He assured his Japanese counterpart of Liberia’s strong commitment to expanding and strengthening economic and development ties with Japan with the aim of attracting Japanese businesses to Liberia.
In response, the Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba expressed appreciation for the warm greetings from President Sirleaf to the Japanese Emperor and commended Liberia’s progress after a difficult period of conflict.
Minister Gemba stated that the points made by Foreign Minister Ngafuan were noted and would be “seriously considered” through follow-up modalities to be worked out via diplomatic channels.
Liberia was among more than forty seven (47) African countries and several international organizations that attended the just ended TICAD Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.
The 4th TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting was organized to review the progress achieved in the implementation of the Yokohama Action Plan as well as to commence discussion for TICAD V, scheduled for March 2013 in Tokyo, Japan.
The Yokohama Action Plan has three major pillars for support to Africa’s growth and development under the TICAD process: Boosting Economic Growth, Ensuring Human Security and Addressing Environmental Issues.
The Government of Japan organized the 4th TICAD meeting in collaboration with the UN, UNDP, the World Bank and the AU Commission with the Government of Morocco serving as host.
The TICAD process is a roadmap for forging strategic partnership between Japan and Africa.
At the same time, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, Dr. Saad Dine El Otmani, alluded to several critical areas of cooperation between Liberia and the Kingdom of Morocco which could be pursued for the mutual interest and benefit of the two countries and peoples.
He named the areas of scholarship opportunities for Liberian students to study in Morocco in various disciplines, development of Liberia’s tourism sector through investment and capacity building support to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT), as well as energy, sports, and trade promotion.
The Moroccan Foreign Minister informed Minister Ngafuan that his government would offer thirty-five (35) scholarship slots for Liberian students to study in various disciplines in Morocco.
He pledged that the scholarship to be provided would be increased in the subsequent years by his government.
Minister El Otmani noted that Liberian students benefitting from Moroccan scholarships will also be given the opportunity to learn the French language.
Regarding the issue of tourism, Minister El Otmani asserted that his Government stands prepared to help Liberia improve its tourism potential through capacity building support to MICAT and other relevant Liberian government institutions. The Moroccan Foreign Minister also noted his government’s interest in helping Liberia develop its housing sector.
At the end of the meeting, the two foreign ministers agreed that the Joint Commission meeting that will bring together relevant officials of both governments and other stakeholders in all the areas of cooperation will be held in Morocco later this year at a date to be arranged.
It can be recalled that the last Joint Commission meeting between the two countries was held last year in Monrovia.
The Liberian Foreign Minister led a four-member delegation at the conference, which included Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration Hon. Sando Wayne, Liberia’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Youngor Telewoda and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Sarah F. Dorbor.